Review of Reverend And The Makers New Album ThirtyTwo
Release Date: 24th February 2014
Praise Be! Finally the first great album of 2014! A rich mix of influences and rock riffs that will appeal to lots of you folks out there. As soon as I started listening to this album I immediately liked it. There are really strong reminders in here of what made The Arctic Monkeys so good in their early years (and with AM more recently I would add) as well as echoes of Oasis and even good old Ozzy O. Even better this is really commercial stuff that I’m sure will grow their fan base fast. It’s the follow up to 2012’s @ReverendMakers and on the Cooking Vinyl label.
What’s really cool is how this band from Sheffield are engaging with their fan base to kick off the new album. McClure has borrowed a camper van to play thirty-two house gigs in the run up to the release. 5pm, at the whisker of cocktail hour, he puts out a tweet to say he’s getting in the van. Fans pour in with their pre-order numbers or ticket stubs and he messages one back to say he’s on the way. How great is that? “I nicked the idea off Carl Barat – he’s a mate, he doesn’t mind. Bill Drummond from the KLF did it too,” says McClure, “I’m really into the idea of playing cities that don’t usually get a look-in. Nothing compares with the feeling of playing some lad’s front room in Scunthorpe or, like, Stockton-upon-Tees, there’s no gig like it.” With one collapsed floor and a few scrambled police vans taken in stride, these shows are achieving their aim of reaching the places overlooked by the usual tour circuits.
Check out this example: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=emLZXoIxKcY
The band produced ThirtyTwo themselves with Youth (Primal Scream, Depeche Mode, The Verve) and James Welsh. Thirty Two gets its name from McClure’s age and alludes to a newfound sense of peace and collectedness. “I don’t really give a shit anymore, I like being thirty-two, it’s where I’m at, I’m at ease with myself, I like great music, and the people that matter to me rate our music. People in this business are funny about their age, but someone like Richard Hawley, he’s is in his forties and he’s great.”
So what can you expect when its released on 24th February?
The opening track Detonator is a punchy opening for the album – short and sweet but a powerful start. Then comes one of my favourites from the pack I Spy – a nice commercial number that must be a potential single release. The Devils Radio takes the speed up a notch whilst dropping in some ska influences. Nostalgia continues with this same influence but at a slower speed and one which larger audiences are going to low singing along to with the band. Happy Song then kicks in and is a slow burning song that suggests that looking on the bright side is a better way at looking at life with lyrics like ‘even the brightest day might still look great to you’. A really nice song that I had to listen to several times. The great tracks keep coming as Different Trains rolls into town followed on by Time which is reminiscent of some of the great Oasis anthems. The eighth track on the album is Old Enough To Know Better – another potential single release for me with pulsing guitar and drum beats weaving through this track. Play Me poignantly shows the depth that the band can reach and is a nice slow burning song with haunting lyrics. The Only One is a cool rock track that plays to the audience asking in a self-indulgent manner, asking them to make them feel that “they are the only one”. Finally, comes Your Girl the strongest track on the album and that’s saying a lot from this box of treats. A stand out track that is recommended to play loud!
A great album and one to go out and pre-order now – with 28 days still left who knows their next gig might be in your living room! Who says that you get nowt for nowt. You can pre-order here: Reverend and the Makers site
If you don’t know too much about Reverend and The Makers then here is a quick bio. Having grown out of the indie rock renaissance of 2005/6, they were at the forefront of a resurgent Sheffield scene, along with friends and collaborators like Arctic Monkeys and Milburn. 2009’s follow-up A French Kiss in the Chaos weathered the backlash that scalped some of their contemporaries, rode back into the top 20 and saw the band invited out on tour with Kasabian and The Enemy for Oasis’ now legendary final shows. At such a point in a music career, one could be forgiven for playing things safe. Reverend & The Makers did anything but, working feverishly instead on side-projects, setting up their Reverend Soundsystem club nights and co-curating the acclaimed Tramlines festival in Sheffield. Frontman Jon McClure and Laura McClure (keyboards, vocals) spoke on panels and played intimate shows for Instigate Debate, a rolling youth, music and ideas forum they’d helped found with Carl Barat and activist Mark Donne.
If you want to join them on one of their gigs – dates are as follows, but hurry as many of the dates are already sold out:
22nd – Coventry Kasbah
23rd – Newcastle
25th – Leeds Metropolitan University
26th – Hull, The Welly Club
27th – Birmingham, O2 Academy
28th – Preston, 53 Degrees
1st Liverpool, O2 Academy
3rd – Dunfermline, PY Molloys
4th – Glasgow, O2 ABC
5th – Manchester, The Ritz
6th – Barrow in Furness, The Nines
7th – Sheffield, O2 Academy
8th – Nottingham, Rock City
10th – Bristol, Fleece
11th – Brighton, Concorde 2
12th – Portsmouth, Wedgewood Rooms
13th – London, Electric Ballroom
14th – Norwich, Waterfront
Review by Doug Duffin